Do you tense up when you think of the hustle and bustle of the holidays? Does your heart skip a beat when you think about spending the entire day with your extended family?
Valentine´s Day is one of those days that can bring out a lot of grief, anger, sadness, or depression. That is why we are going to look at how you can get through these kind of holidays. These coping mechanisms apply to holidays in general and will help you get through them.
[LIVE SESSION REPLAY] 10 tips to survive Holiday Stress
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Coping tools to manage holiday stress
1.) Acknowledge Your Feelings
For some people Valentine´s Day is a wonderful day, full of love, joy and happiness and they are celebrating their relationship. They shouldn’t have to hide that just because somebody may feel bad. Remember, how you feel about it is your responsibility, not theirs. Even though this day doesn’t have the same meaning for you, you can maintain a neutral or even a congratulatory presence to the others for whom it’s an appropriate holiday. I love that in some countries it is Friendship Day!
The most important thing you can do is to acknowledge your feelings. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy. It´s important to recognize your emotions and acknowledge them, rather than just feeling bad, angry, or mad.
2.) Reach Out to Your Community
If you feel lonely, sad, or isolated, seek out community, religious, or other social events or communities. It is also helpful to talk to a friend or family member about your concerns. Try reaching out with a text, a call, or a video chat. Many organizations have moved online so you can access their services online.
It’s really important that we build these kinds of community strategies in times that aren’t highly stressful. So that when we are in a stressful period, like holidays, we can reach out to them and enable us to get through the stress properly.
3.) Be Realistic
Most holidays are not perfect, no matter how much we like to remember them that way. It doesn’t have to be like last year, it doesn’t have to be the way it is in your dreams. Most of the time, our memories and our dreams about what a holiday should look like, set us up for expectations that just are not achievable. So be realistic, do the things you like, and enjoy the parts you want to celebrate.
4.) Use Technology to Your Advantage
Rather than isolate yourself entirely, find new ways to celebrate with people you care about, share pictures, emails or videos. Meet virtually on a video call. Even though your holiday plans look different from what you expected, you can find ways to celebrate.
5.) It´s Not the Time to Discuss Your Differences
Holidays are a really bad time to air your grievances and discuss your differences. You need to set those aside for the time being. Yes, they do need to be addressed, but a holiday dinner or a family gathering is probably not the best time to do that.
6.) Set a Budget
When there is shopping involved, you need to agree to a budget and stick to it. Figure out what you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Gifts are not about impressing people, gifts are about expressing relationship, so make sure it’s not about money.
7.) Make Time for Yourself
Find an activity you like and go and do it. Take a break by yourself. Take 15 to 30 minutes so you can rest and relax. Do some deep breathing, yoga, meditation,… do something to calm yourself and get yourself grounded and centered, calm down relaxed, so when you get into the more stressful situation, you can lower your stress level.
8.) Don't abandon Your Healthy Habits
Overindulgence adds to stress and guilt and that could cause blow-ups in parties or relationships. Try to maintain a relative amount of healthy eating and meals. Don’t overindulge and make yourself bloated and sick. Get enough sleep and regular exercise. Keep the best of your habits, and indulge yourself with a little treat here and there.
9.) Recognize Your Stress Triggers
Learn to recognize what your stress triggers and your stress relievers are. Obviously financial pressures are huge. Personal demands are one of the most common ones where people’s expectations and obligations on each other create huge stresses. Recognize those things that create triggers for you and have a plan to deal with and relieve the stress.
10.) Learn to say no
You don´t need to participate in every project or activity. You don´t need to meet everyone else’s expectations and everyone else’s priorities. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. You’re responsible for your happiness!
Take care of yourself, put your happiness and wellness first. Those are the key attitudes that we cultivate in the Reclaim Your Life Coaching Program that starts on February 26!
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